POISED FOR POWERJoaquin Niemann has a wide stance and a strong left-hand grip, two adjustments that lead to big drives, says instructor Jim McLean: “And his hands and head are behind the ball. This is a setup that helps produce powerful drives because you can use your body weight to put more into the hit.”
A BIG WINDUPAs he takes the club back, you can see how much his upper body has rotated by looking at his forearms—the right is above the left, McLean says. Though coiling is noticeable in his upper body, note how still and stable his lower body appears. This difference creates the potential for more distance.
KEEPING IT CLOSEDNiemann maintains a closed clubface as he completes his backswing. “It’s facing skyward at the top,” McLean says. “It’s a position that encourages lag, which puts more power into the hit.” It also eliminates the need to close the face on the way down, which can improve consistency.
LOWER BODY LEADSThe distance between his hands and clubhead halfway down—the lag—is dramatic, McLean says. It’s a lot like the clubhead lag of another Spanish-speaking pro, Sergio Garcia. “His right arm is now under the left, his lower body has shifted forward, and his shoulders are trailing. He’s going to bomb it.”
DOWN AND UP“It’s amazing that at impact, his right shoulder has dropped significantly while his left leg is straightening,” McLean says. “Not many golfers can do that. This is where his athleticism shines.” The move allows him to simultaneously compress the ball while hitting it off the tee on the upswing.
WALK THE LINEAs Niemann continues into the through-swing, note his body and the golf shaft, McLean says. “It’s what I call the ‘powerline.’ The golf’s shaſt is parallel to the target line and the clubhead is under his hands. That’s tough to achieve unless you have a strong back and are really flexible.”
WRAP IT UP“His hands are way around and behind the head, and the shaft is almost pointed at the target,” McLean says. “This shows tremendous rotation of his shoulders. Amazingly, despite some radical movement of his body in the through-swing, he’s perfectly in balance as he finishes.”